Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Graf Lab

(By Etex at the Graf Lab)
Let me get something clarified before I talk about the Graf Lab. Usually when I tell someone that I create graffiti with the youth in my neighborhood I get concerned looks from them. The word graffiti almost always brings up other words in most people's minds like: illegal, crime, or sin. In our minds we think of words like: art, work, and style. Let it be known that there is such a thing as legal graffiti, and it's beautiful.
I've had the privilege of teaching some of the youth in our neighborhood the form of illustration. In turn, they've been teaching me the art of graffiti. Every piece that we do together is 100% legal, and it's usually at a legal spot in our neighborhood called the Graf Lab. This spot is somewhat of a sacred place in Pico Union, Los Angeles. It's on the South East corner of Venice and Union in Los Angeles. (if you've got the skills please come through) Every Saturday, artists can express themselves legally in broad daylight, and practice the art form of graffiti in safety. There are outside dangers that come in though. For instance the Burlington gang has claimed this as their territory. Yes you might get stopped by them if you go there, but we can't let gangs interrupt or lives. The Graf Lab belongs to everyone, and it's important to not hand any place over to darkness. The Artists have something to say. They also have something they need to let out of their being. I love the Graf Lab because it provides artists with an outlet that takes them off the billboards and private property of L.A. If anything there needs to be more legal spots like the Graf Lab in every city.
We have to support places like this. If legal walls are taken away from the public then people will fall into vandalism even more. If we believe that non-permission graffiti on private property is a crime, then we have to back our beliefs by providing legal walls as a community.

(By Etox)


Anonymous said...

Hello John,
This is Gloria Farias with Pico Union Housing Corp.
Owners of the Graff Lab on the coner of Venice and Union it is wondreful that you feel that way about the Graff Lab Here at Pico Union we feel the same to give the opportuinity to the artist to have a safe place to express there feelings and thier art at the same time, to keep them informed of all the aspects of Graffiti law and train them from artist to eutupuners please note that Pico Union Housing is a grass root non profit organization, and we are looking for help in developing a webpage to recieve some income to keep the yard open. We are also working with the L.A River to see if we can create Graff Labs thru out the L.A River Project. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns (213)747-2790 ext 22 or feel free as you know to drop by and ask for Ricky on Saturday and Sunday when the Graff Lab is open from 9am till 5pm also we are looking for music teachers and hip hop teachers if you know of any feel free to let me know.

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Anonymous said...

waddupp jhon..
ibee TREX..ibe doinq graffitti foee about 4years&im pretty good'..riqht now i created a krew that goes by W4K means Writtinq 4 Kash..well im jst here too sa youu doo some hard shit wen et komes to graffityy